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Using Your Own Home Server – From Old PC To Server That Serves You Right

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In the ever-evolving digital landscape, the concept of repurposing old technology has gained significant traction. One of the most practical and rewarding projects you can embark on is transforming an outdated PC into a fully functional home server.

This endeavor not only breathes new life into hardware that might otherwise collect dust but also offers you a customizable, powerful tool for managing your digital life. Whether it’s for file storage, media streaming, or running various applications, a home server crafted from an old PC can be tailored to serve your specific needs.

This blog post will guide you through the journey of converting your old PC into a home server that serves you right, discussing the benefits, necessary preparations, and key steps to ensure your success.

Do you have an old PC knocking around and doing nothing in the home or office but particularly useful? Let me show you how to turn it into a server of any kind. A server that could be serving your business or your habitual online hobby the right things it needs to continue.

Do you doubt it or think it’s difficult? Just spend a few more seconds reading through. You’ll shockingly discover you’ve been wasting useful resources that can add value to your internet asset. Ready? Ok, let’s dive into this river of knowledge expository.

Admitting it was hard to have a home network at par with technology, confessing their owners used to dress it up as a king on weekends, but now-thanks in part to the need to share broadband internet connections – it’s almost an essential feature of every house. Even your parents might have one, especially if you’ve convinced them that loafing around on the sofa with a laptop is a good idea.

However, if all you do with a home network is to share an internet connection, then you’re not making the most of it. To get more from a home network, you should start thinking about converting one of your systems into a server, which will enhance the way you use your computer a hundredfold.

Believe it or not, this change can actually be done quickly and cheaply, using an old forgotten PC, even with as little as a Pentium 111 and 256MB of memory. How much more now that the one you own might even be of higher gigabyte specs?

Streamline Your Digital Life at Home With Windows Home Server

Choose The Software Operating System

The first step is to consider which operating system and software to run on your server. Windows Small Business Server 2003 with a five-client license costs a whopping $484.99, and that’s the cheapest version of Windows Server 2003. So, it’s not really appropriate for home networking. However, if you’re planning to use an Athlon 64PC as your server, you could try downloading the BETA of Windows Server 2003 x 64 edition for AMD64 and EMT64

[www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/64bit/x64/default.mspx], which will run for 360 days before timing out.

Otherwise, either a standard desktop operating system or Linux is your most realistic option. Windows XP Professional (but not the Home version) already has server capabilities built-in, and Windows NT-based operating systems have always shared the same codebase between the desktop and server versions, too. But more on that later.

If you’re considering using Linux, then there are lots of options to choose from. Since Novell bought SuSE, it’s harder to find the free, fully working version of this particularly good distribution, but the personal edition of SuSE Linux professional 9.1 can be downloaded from – www.suse.com/en/private/download/ftp/personal-iso-int.html.

Another great distribution for use as a server, meanwhile, is Fedora, which is a non-commercial offshoot of Red Hat. You can download various Install ISOs from http://fedora.redhat.com/download. It’s also worth considering mandrake, which is available from www.mandrakelinux.com/en/ftp.php3. The major differences between them are which kernel and bundled application dot-releases are included.

Sharing Over The Internet

If you plan to make your server accessible from the internet, then there are several factors to consider. First of all, you need to decide how to share your internet connection. If you’re running Windows as your server operating system, it’s very simple to use an internet connection for sharing.

Now, choose Properties on the device computer interface to share a USB—or Ethernet-attached broadband connection, then select the Advanced tab. You can then check a box to enable sharing your connection.

Web Server – Behind the Scenes Vital Functions

However, if your broadband connection is attached to your PC via Ethernet-for example, using a cable modem, then you’ll need a second network card to attach your PC to the network. Whatever your broadband type, you’ll also need an Ethernet switch to allow you to hook up other PCs, and you can get these for under $20

A more elegant method, though, is a broadband router, which means that if your server crashes, it won’t take your internet connection with it. If you have Ethernet–attached broadband, you can opt for the cheaper routers with a built-in Ethernet port for connection to your modem. This will always be the case if you use cable.

However, if you have ADSL, and your modem uses USB, you’ll need to replace this with a router that has an ADSL modem built-in. Either way, you can pick up a broadband router with a four-port switch and wireless networking for as little as $40. Although it’s generally safer to go with something slightly pricier from a known brand if you want to maintain compatibility.

However, sharing a server that accesses the internet via a full internet protocol address will be on local addresses allocated by the router’s DHCP services, usually somewhere between and Local machines talk to the outside world via a process called Network Address Translation [NAT].

This makes them inaccessible from the internet unless you specifically redirect the port used for a specific service to the appropriate machine. You’ll find this under the virtual server or port forwarding section of your router, usually with presets for popular services such as web serving or FTP. We’ll discuss which ports to open in each case later on.

To further complicate matters, most domestic broadband services use dynamic IP address allocation. Although your IP address will probably be leased to you for a day or two, maybe even weeks if you leave your modem on all the time, it will still change from time to time.

This means you’ll need to use a service that tracks your current IP address and keeps your virtual internet name regularly updated. One option is No-IP (www.no-ip.com), which offers free and paid services with applets for Unix, Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. DynDNS (www.dyndns.org) is also popular among users.

Meanwhile, numerous different DynDNS client updater applets are available for a huge range of operating systems, including many that run as Windows Services. Direct support has even been built into some routers, including some of Netgear’s models.

Embrace Smart Home Technology with Advanced Windows Home Server Solutions

Host Online Games

Although serving a game from one of your players’ systems is a tried and tested method, a dedicated server means nobody has to draw the short straw on frame rates. Plus if you’re hoping to host a 16-player fragfest, then a dedicated server is essential. However, for most games you’ll need a system more powerful than a Pentium 1V to do this and at least 1Gig of RAM.

If you choose Linux for your home server, you’ll find that running games on it is already difficult. However, lots of games are readily available for Linux, including recent releases such as Doom3, Half-Life 2, and Unreal Tournament 2004.

For example, you can find a Linux update to run a dedicated Half-Life HLDS server at www. Steampowered.com. Linux has been a popular choice for commercial game serving for the same reason that it’s popular in other areas of computing – it’s free

However, you really need a server OS to run a dedicated games server – windows XP or 2000 Professional will be fine. A Win9X OS isn’t recommended, though, unless you like pressing the reset switch regularly. Since the game itself serves, a desktop OS has everything you need.

Take care with XP SP2’s firewall, though, unless you unlock your games server’s internet access, nobody will be liable to play on it, even on your local area network LAN. A popup message should give you the option to do this when you launch the server.

If you want to make your game available over the internet, you’ll need to either connect your game server directly to your broadband connection or configure your router to forward the port(s) used by the game to the dedicated server’s IP address.

As mentioned earlier, you’ll find this under the virtual Server of the Port Forwarding section of your router’s management menu. Finally, unless you want to manually tell your mates what IP address your broadband modem is currently using, you’ll need a virtual name server such as the aforementioned NO-IP as well.

How Do I Host My Very Own Game Server?

In summary, the following are the five steps to hosting your own server of games.

Step one: Describe Your Web Hosting Unique Identification Service. …

Step two: Diligently Search out a Dedicated Server Partner. …

Step three: Create and Put Up Your Website, Billing System, and Customer Care Tools. …

Step four: Diligently Search out Web Hosting Service Providers. …

Step five: Promote, Market, and Scale it up.

When setting up your web server, don’t overlook the importance of hardware and software selection for optimal performance.

Best Games That Allow You To Host Your Own Server

PC gaming has perhaps the foremost variation of all platforms. From FPS to MMORPG, PC gaming is as diverse as it’s entertaining. Many developers dislike the thought of players creating their own server. They prefer them to play on the official servers. That’s understandable, but at the same time, isn’t gaming better once you call the shots?

You’ll need one of these: a slight of spare time, an honest work ethic, and thus the spirit of going your own way. Once you’ve all that, you’ll get to hunt down a game you’re keen on playing. These are a few titles where you’re ready to make your own gaming server and control the principles.


It’s hard not to love a game where you’ll essentially do whatever you’d like – the earth is your playground. To think that groups of the many people have built incredible creations from scratch remains hard to fathom. Blocky versions of the Batcave, the Eiffel Tower, Westeros from Game of Thrones, and even the Enterprise from Star Trek: it’s all here and more.

These creations usually need plenty of help to urge off rock bottom, and it’s often because of these private servers that we get to determine the finished results. Minecraft isn’t just digging and building but seeing your visions come to life.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – Frequently abbreviated to CSGO, If you’re a CSGO noob, you’ll wish to believe a private server for you and your closest buddies

ARK: Survival Evolved

it’s sensible that you don’t need to fight a bunch of outsiders also. Instead, you and your crew can build a base, tame those dinosaurs (not easy), and settle your own colony within the epic open world that’s ARK. Seeking solutions for your Windows Home Server? Explore innovative approaches to enhance its functionality and streamline operations.

Gaming Server Hosting Providers

The best Ark server hosting like Survival Servers or GTX Gaming. With both providing an excellent service towards Ark and it’s server hosting.


Host Havoc




Both Host Havoc and PingPerfect are completely brilliant hosting providers, if you look at various Host Havoc reviews you’ll see outstanding reviews from customers.

Usually, game-specific hosts like HostHorde and McProHosting are excellent choices due to their dedication to Minecraft and servers.

HostHorde also has significant knowledge within the DDoS protection scene and especially within the Minecraft community. 

Dedicated Servers Or VPSs Are Probably A Good Choice

If you’re looking to host a very powerful server and want endless control of your own server rack, dedicated servers or VPS’s are probably a good choice for you. These can start at around $100 per month, which is considerable when you start with 32GB and Xeon series CPUs to power your new game server. 

Best Dedicated Game Server Hosting Providers

Dedicated platform               Support                       Server RAM

InMotion Hosting                                                     4GB

GoDaddy                                                                4 GB


Resellers panel

With Your Home Server Serve Your Own Website

One purpose for which Linux has been hugely popular is serving websites. Nearly all Linux distributions come with a web server built-in, which is usually a version of Apache. The ease with which the web server can be administered will depend on your chosen distribution though. Fedora, for example, offers a wizard to help you configure your settings, while SuSE performs this function via its YaST Utility.

However, it’s also possible to run a web server with little more than a copy of Windows 2000 or XP Professional. Both come with Internet Information Services IIS, although it’s not installed by default. To enable IIS, double-click Add/Remove Programs in the Control panel, head to the Add/Remove Windows Components button, and check the box to install IIS.

Then use the Details button to select which internet related services you want to install such as web FTP and SMTP. Once this is installed, entering Http:// localhost or the name of your computer will load the default web page.

You can find the name of your computer by right-clicking on My Computer and selecting Properties and clicking the computer Name tab if you can’t remember what you called your PC when you installed Windows. Essential hardware and software components lay the foundation for a robust web server setup that ensures seamless performance and scalability.

You’ll find the files for your new website in C:\inetpub\wwwroot although this directory will initially be filled with the default Windows XP pages. You could just delete these and start again. Alternatively opening Administrative Tools in the Control panel will reveal a new internet information service entry.

This will enable you to configure the web server, FTP server, and SMTP server if you installed all three of them. All you need to do is right-click on the Default Web Site and select Virtual Directory under the New menu.

Then just give your new site a memorable and point it at your chosen directory. You’ll now be able to access it via http://name of your computer/new website name. As long as there is an index HTML file, you now have your own website.

However, only ten users at a time can access the version of IIS included with Windows 2000 or XP. To allow more simultaneous users, you’ll need a true Windows server, or you’ll have to add a third-party web server such as Apache (www.apache.org). the latter runs on Windows as well as Linux, including Windows 9X (although this is not recommended)

However, while it’s entirely possible to run your web page from a home cable modem or ADSL connection, you won’t want to operate a busy website in this manner. Even a premium 3Mb/sec cable modem connection from Blueyonder only offers 256 kb/s upstream, so it’ll take just a few users to grind your connection to a halt.

If your broadband has a fixed monthly usage allowance as well, then you could find that running a web server chews it up pretty quickly, unless it’s a large allowance.

You’re also likely to find that running a web server on a non-commercial broadband connection is technically against the ISP’s terms and conditions, although few companies will complain about it as long as you keep within your usage quotas.

However, if your web server is there for occasional informational use, or to test out web design ideas. Then running it over broadband is perfectly possible. Bearing in mind, though, that you’ll need to redirect the appropriate ports on your router if you’re using one, as already described for a game server.

The ports in question are 80 and 8080, which will need to be forwarded to the local IP address, used by your server. As before, you’ll find this in the Virtual Server or Port Forwarding section of your router. Most routers will even have a preset for this purpose.

Turning an old PC into a home server is a rewarding project that can significantly enhance your digital lifestyle. It’s a sustainable choice that repurposes existing hardware, reduces waste, and provides a customizable solution to your home networking needs.

By following the steps outlined in this post, you can unlock the potential of your old PC, transforming it into a central hub for storage, media, and much more. T

he process requires some time and effort, but the result is a personalized server that not only serves your immediate needs but can also evolve with your future demands. Embrace the challenge and enjoy the benefits of a home server that truly serves you right.

I guess you’ve been richly educated by reading this article. Whatever the state of your mind, feel free to communicate either your opinion or viewpoint or contributions to the subject matter in the box below. You would be doing me and other readers a world of good when I’m encouraged or others are further informed about this topic.

Also, you’re free to share this page with your social network followers and friends. They would be happy and appreciate you for helping them to enhance their knowledge of web technology.

Thanks in earnest expectation.

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